The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls

The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

Book - 2017
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In 1917, as a war raged across the world, young American women flocked to work, painting watches, clocks, and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous. The girls themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in the dust from the paint. As the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. The very thing that had made them feel alive, their work, was in fact slowly killing them: they had been poisoned by the radium paint. Yet their employers denied all responsibility. And so, in the face of unimaginable suffering, in the face of death, these courageous women refused to accept their fate quietly, and instead became determined to fight for justice.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois :, Sourcebooks, Inc.,, [2017]
ISBN: 9781492649359
Branch Call Number: 940.3082 MOO
Characteristics: xvi, 479 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Jul 05, 2018

Depressing and inspiring at the same time, depending on whether you're focusing on the story generally or the heroism of the people involved. Especially disconcerting to see at the end that the lesson has not yet been learned.

Jun 29, 2018

A heartbreaking true story about how young women (and girls) were exposed to radium without knowing the risks about it. They jumped at the opportunity to make good money and show their support during WWI and WW2 by painting the dials with radium so they could glow in the dark for soldiers to use. It made me wonder if I would have done the same thing if I was given the opportunity to work for a radium company; kind of frightening to think about. Author Kate Moore decided to write this story in the women's perspectives after realizing there were no books about them. Thank you for giving them a voice so their story is not forgotten. I would LOVE to see a movie made out of this story from the women's perspectives; something similar to what film makers did for "Hidden Figures". The world needs to know about the injustice and sufferings that the dial-painters and families/friends went through.

May 01, 2018

This is an amazing, heart-breaking read for anyone who loves history or non-fiction.

An illuminating story. Sorry, I had to say that.

Nov 27, 2017

Informative and revelatory book about radium and the women who were poisoned by the money-hungry men in power.

Nov 15, 2017

Reading this book was like watching a car accident as it is about to happen and knowing you can do nothing to stop it. We first see these bright, young girls jumping at the chance to paint dials and make a very good wage. All have dreams and families that can benefit from these extra $$. Then we realize what they are doing -- licking paintbrushes dipped in radium over and over and over. . .

Kudos to Kate Moore for her storytelling and extensive research. She truly did bring these shining women to life and we suffered with them through their individual journeys. Their stories and the court cases that resulted from their suffering and illnesses changed the American employment landscape in significant ways. They live on in the research that they contributed to regarding radium first and then later the atomic bomb and the ramifications of testing. Shine on, ladies!

orchids3lady Nov 14, 2017

This is an important book as it details the horrifying, true events that occurred to dozens of young women as a direct result of working in factories painting glow-in-the-dark dials with radium paint. The scandalous treatment of these women and cover-up by the industry makes it very painful to read, and it is still relevant today as their struggles and illnesses formed the basis of worker's rights and OSHA years later.
However, an easy read this is not; Moore covers as many womens' stories as possible in her narrative with the result that it is both repetative and difficult to keep up with the individual stories. The Radium Girls is an excellent book club choice that will provoke a lot of discussion.

EricaV_KCMO Sep 13, 2017

A must read! A fast-paced, wonderful narrative nonfiction book about the women, who painted glow-in-the-dark watch faces during World War I and beyond.

Kate Moore spoke at BookExpo. I was in tears hearing about her research and more about these women. A wonderful interview with Ms. Moore on NPR.

Sep 09, 2017

The information in this book was new to me and very pertinent to today when the President is taking away safety regulations for workers by executive order. What these women went through was a tragedy and might I add, would probably not have happened over and over again if they had been men and thereby "breadwinners of the family"- even though in many cases they were supporting their families.
I wish it had been written in a more coherent style, I found it tough to keep all the "girls", excuse the employer, should be "women" straight even though I wanted to remember each of their stories.

Aug 20, 2017

Very interesting read, however, it seemed like the girls' narrative kept repeating. There were several companies using radium so each girl had her own story that pretty much sounded the same for each girl. After the lawyers and doctors got involved with the girls' cases, that was a repeating theme as well; lies, denials, endless physical exams etc. I enjoyed learning about the girls and the struggles they went through but the book could possibly have been shortened a bit without losing any substance.

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Jun 17, 2017

Tjad2L thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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